Trust is tantamount in any relationship. It takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in a moment. In a best friend, you trust that person not to talk behind your back. In a spouse, you trust that person never to lie to or cheat on you. In a parent, you trust that person to always be there when they say they will, for complete honesty and for unconditional love. If you can’t trust those people in your life, the world can seem a bitter, cruel place full of uncertainty and disloyalty.
I want my girls to trust that what I tell them is the truth and that they can depend on whatever I say to be honest. Sure, the occasional white lie is acceptable. “You are the greatest singer in the world.”. That’s really not entirely true, but there’s no one’s voice I’d rather hear. I’m sure people will tell me, “you look great!” after surgery with that shit eating grin that means they’re politely lying. Those are acceptable because I can trust that it’s all done with the best of intentions.
I remember one of my brothers telling me in high school, “don’t be a gossip. No one likes a gossip”. I brushed it off but always kept it in the back of my head. I secretly love to hear gossip, but you won’t find me spreading it. I don’t know if it’s really true.
So I’m not sure what to say to my girls when I go for my surgery. I want them to know that I’m going to be back in a few days and that I’m going to be fine. But what they’ll see after won’t necessarily seem fine to them. Will it make me not trustworthy after that?
When I was little, I would ask my mother to sit next to me while I fell asleep (a history that is repeating itself now as my big girl demands the same – you got your wish, Dad). One of my parents would always help me fall asleep but I would then take it a step further and say, “Promise you will stay the whole night”. Mom wouldn’t. She would tell me that she never made promises she didn’t keep and that when she said “I promise”, I could always trust her. In all of my 30 years, she has never violated that promise. I want to make sure my girls can trust me the same way that I can always trust my mother.
Trust is too important to take lightly, flinging little lies here and there. They eventually take their toll. I have to come up with the right, most truthful and trustworthy way to explain my surgery and recovery in three year old terms. How do I keep our trust while accounting for the uncertainties that lie ahead? Isn’t that the conundrum in all relationships?
We are trying to pick out a rug for our bedroom. It is surprisingly difficult and annoying. Normally, I like decorating. It’s an outlet for creativity. It’s amazing that picking out a rug is more challenging and time consuming than picking out my new boobs.
After hearing about all of the various options I have: silicon, scalene, silicon gel, etc, I feel like it’s a no brainer compared to what I will step on in the morning. Dhuri, knotted wool, hand-looped, ugh! I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m so much more confident in what’s going to go in my body for the next 10 years than what will be under my feet for only five minutes a day.
Coordinating my schedule for the next few weeks before surgery has been a challenge. I have tons of doctors’ appointments, things to do with my girls, dinners that I want to plan with my husband and my friends. So much to cram into the next few weeks before I’m out of commission for a while. I know it’s morbid, but it made me think about those with a harder schedule to handle. Those whose prognosis isn’t as promising as mine will be post-op.
Many make a bucket list of things they want to accomplish before their expiration. I totally understand that. My recent list is paltry in comparison to the to-do list I have mentally jotted down for the rest of my existence. Places I want to go, things I want to learn, experiences I want to have, food I want to taste. All of it pales in comparison to those I want to spend time with. If I had the choice to go on my dream trip to accomplish all of the above or to be with my family during my last days, you can imagine which option I’d pick. Packing is such a pain in the ass.
I’m not sure if the big girl is picking up on all the talk about my surgery or if 3 is the age of body part comparison and identification. Maybe both, but it seems that lately she has been commenting on boobs, a lot. She often lifts her shirt up and asks, “these are my boobies?”. Is she waiting for confirmation because hers look so much different than mine? She wore a bikini to the pool recently and after saying she had a little belly, she nonchalantly told me I had a big belly in my bikini. Thanks a lot kid, you had a little part in that, ya know?
That didn’t bother me really, but when she patted my boobs yesterday and told me that they were “bumpy and bouncy”, my only reply was “for now”. Luckily she didn’t question my response, because, admittedly, it wasn’t a wise or thoughtful answer.
I am definitely concerned about the way I’m going to feel to them when we embrace or cuddle. As the little one fell asleep snuggling me today, I thought I’m just like a pillow. Since the implants will go underneath my pectoral muscles and they aren’t doughy like my natural breasts, I’m worried that the flatter, harder breasts won’t be the soft cushion my daughters need to lean on when they want to be comforted. Now I’m a down variety pillow, but soon I imagine I will be more like a tempurpedic. I hate those foam things. I wonder if their little side profiles will leave an impression on my boobs after they nap on me?
I’m not a competitive person. Not at all. I love to play games, maybe only because I don’t feel the pressure of the win. This isn’t necessarily a great feature, but not my worst either.
In some ways, it has served me well. I haven’t gotten caught up in unnecessary drama. I don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. And I don’t compare what my kids do to others’ (unless it’s being envious if you have sleepers). In other ways, I could be at a disadvantage because I’m not motivated by a competitive force from within.
I have always thought I’m just going to try to do my best in a scenario where I really care about the outcome. I wanted to be the best ballerina, but it wasn’t that I wanted to achieve my dream roles over other dancers. I wanted to dance Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy for myself; to know that I had accomplished what I set out to do. I want to be the best mom I can be to my girls. It’s not that I want to out-Mom my fellow madres. My babies will eventually be the judges. Will they lament to each other? “Ugh I have to call Mom, no wait, it’s your turn to do it.” Or will it be like I am with my mom, “hi it’s 9:30, why haven’t you texted me yet? Can you come over?”. Only time will tell how I’m doing at my job.
I hope that I can show my daughters that as long as they do their best, it’s all anyone can ask of them. I don’t want to demand the best from them. I’d like them to develop their own passion for working towards and enjoying their accomplishments. Just like my surgeons, I’m hoping they strive to do their absolute best and that their best is amazing. I hope when they check out my tatas post-op, they say, “I totally rocked that one!” (high fives all around).
I have been in a mom style fashion rut since I got pregnant with my older daughter. It’s not due to body image issues regarding baby weight gain or redistribution of weight (which seems to inevitably happen with age and subsequent pregnancies). I attribute my horrible style to being cheap and lazy.
Luckily (for my husband, maybe), I am the thrifty one. He’s the one that encourages me to buy whatever clothes I want and has never ever said, “that’s ridiculous”, “too expensive” or “take it easy”. He makes the money, but I pay the bills. As a stay at home mom, I think that works to the benefit of our wallet. I typically don’t have the time to shop for myself, but when I do, I have a good sense of what’s available for discretionary spending. Hence, my preference for fewer clothing and accessories for me and more yummy/convenient food or activities for the girls or house projects that we will enjoy far longer than a shirt I might wear twice this year (because God forbid I’m seen thrice in the same thing – damn you Facebook). It’s also hard to justify buying lots of new stuff when all of the old stuff fits and is “classic” (read boring).
I’ve finally come to a point in my life where I’ve accepted my body. I carried and gave birth to two kids with this get up. At last, I’ve figured out how to dress to play up the good features and downplay the bad. I’m over the fad trends that won’t last, I don’t have to force myself into a miniskirt just because a magazine says I should.
So now that I’m changing this body and entering into a new era of perkier and perhaps smaller breasts and slimmer hips (fingers crossed), do I get the luxury of fitting into styles I never imagined I ever could? Part of me desperately hopes so, part of me doesn’t feel like venturing out and spending the money. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to buying fewer granny bras and more strapless dresses! I better get a second job to pay for what could be an addictive new post-op side effect.
Labor Day always seems to mark the end of summer. The school year is starting and the crisp Fall air is about to blow in. It’s a bittersweet time of bidding farewell to fun in the sun and saying hello to a new chapter. This couldn’t be more true than for my best friend who is moving across the country, literally as I type.
Our kids are exactly the same age, we lived a few streets from one another, and we could share every detail of our lives together knowing that judgement was never passed. It is so rare to find that true friend who you know you can trust implicitly, who loves you and your kids almost unconditionally and who will call you on your shit and go to bat for you all at the same time. You can imagine my devastation that she and her crew are 40,000 miles high and flying fast towards an exciting new adventure.
True, I have an adventure of my own imminently approaching, but not one as exciting as they’ve embarked on. I can dwell on my own selfish doom and gloom knowing that I can’t call her and go for a walk after we drop the kids at school next week, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m happy for them (as long as they move back within the two to five year timeframe I’ve been promised). It is courageous to step out of your comfort zone and accept a challenge, no matter what crossroads you come upon in life. No one knows what cards they’ll be dealt and the mark of one’s true character is shown when one is met with adversity. It is then that the priorities and values you hold dearest are clearly displayed for all to see.
I admire my best friend for showing her kids what’s most important. As long as they’re together, they can do anything and take on any challenge. The happiness and sense of accomplishment of even one family member can radiate through the rest of them bringing them warmth and joy like a sunny day burning through the clouds. They are going to have memories that will last a lifetime, new experiences they can grow from and a family unit so strong that they will know they can do anything under the sun. It’s going to be tough at first, but a new routine will form soon and adaptation will turn into adoration. At least that’s what I tell myself too. Good luck, Bestie, we will be there to visit as soon as we’ve both gotten into our new grooves (or tomorrow, according to the big girl).